The Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) has today announced championship-winning head coach Brad Thorn has re-signed with the Queensland Reds for the next two seasons.
After guiding Queensland to their first Super Rugby title in 10 years, Thorn will remain at Ballymore through 2023.
It will see Thorn into his sixth season in the top role to become the longest serving head coach at the Reds in more than two decades and equal-fourth longest in Queensland coaching history.
In a further boost for future success at Queensland, Thorn’s support staff have also re-signed with assistant coaches Jim McKay (Attack), Michael Todd (Defence) and Cameron Lillicrap (Set Piece and Skills) all committing through 2023 as well.
Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “I’m honoured to be staying with the club for another two seasons.
“It’s great to have Michael Todd, Jim McKay and Cameron Lillicrap on board as well. We’ve got great staff here. As a head coach you need good people around you.
“We got some good pay this year for the hard work put in. It was an important achievement for the team, and our Queensland supporters to win the AU title.
“However, the New Zealand sides showed us there is still some way to go, and we’re looking forward to the challenge ahead.”
QRU CEO David Hanham said: “We're pleased to have Brad, Jim, Michael and Cameron all re-commit to the Reds through 2023.
“Six years ago we made a commitment to invest in quality coaching to develop our players and build a deeper connection to Queensland and that's what Brad and the team has done.
“Super Rugby AU produced great results on and off the field in 2021. We want to sustain this success long-term and with all four of these men on board for another two seasons we believe we can achieve that.”
General Manager – Professional Rugby Sam Cordingley said: “It’s great news for the Reds to have a quality coaching unit in Brad, Jim, Michael and Cameron committed to the club. They are all great men who are passionate about the team and Queensland Rugby as a whole.
"We are continuing to build a cohesive staff and playing group to deliver on our objective of sustained success. Queensland Rugby has a lot to look forward to in the coming years."
Thorn will enter his fifth year as Queensland head coach in 2022 following a successful Super Rugby season this year.
Under Thorn, the Reds won three pieces of silverware in 2021 that not only included the Super Rugby AU title, but they reclaimed the Rod Macqueen Cup (home-and-away wins over Brumbies) for the first time in nine years plus retained the Bob Templeton Cup (home-and-away wins over Waratahs) for the first time since 2013.
Queensland also won their most games in a season (nine) this year since 2013, equalled a club-record 11-game winning streak at Suncorp Stadium and won three-straight matches against the Brumbies for the first time in Queensland’s Super Rugby history.
Following two decades of unparalleled success as a player at the elite level, Thorn joined the QRU in late 2015 as a Development Squad forwards coach and has been at Ballymore for the duration of his coaching career.
Thorn guided the Queensland U20s to two Super U20 Championship titles – as an assistant coach in 2016 and then as head coach in an undefeated 2017 season.
He was also assistant coach of Queensland Country in the National Rugby Championship (NRC) in 2016 and then head coach the following year when Country claimed the title – going from last to first in a single season.
Thorn and his support staff are currently preparing the Reds for the 2022 Super Rugby season.